Vivace Roasteria: An Appreciation

Una bella tazza di caffe: An Appreciation

July 9, 2008

Dear Vivace,

I wanted to offer my gratitude and appreciation for, in its waning days, Espresso Vivace’s E. Denny/Broadway Roasteria.

Vivace is so much more than a mere locale, or scene, even – there are a million espresso joints in this city. And a million scenes.

My Roasteria – with its grand, wood-paned windows peering out on Cal Anderson; Seattle’s golden, July 47˚ sun-beams angling off marble countertops – have become a dear part of my routine and life on “the Hill”.

The always lively local (and beyond) Capitol Hill folks who come for talk, for work, for engagements of all kinds; for peace – are greeted first by a friendly professional and then by the primo, unbeatable espresso that here has indeed been “raised to an art” by your baristas, whose faces, if not as often names, I know well.

Your departure is a little anti-climactic. Here it is July 9 and sitting here drinking my tall triple latte with a Cure song playing it could easily be July 9, 1998…but this is apropos; in character for Vivace; part of its charm. The space is as the Capitol Hill community and its people: things change – time is fluid, winds on, shifts, as do lives and as does the city landscape. And so this space, too arrives at a juncture.

After first discovering the Roasteria through friends several years ago after arriving from the east, I wondered to myself, why hadn’t I before? Well, I think perhaps it is the quasi-hidden view from the street: a small, shade-covered side-entrance lets the uniniated slip by and easily miss it.)

Such a magical space! And so inviting. So laid back. So “Seattle”, to risk cliché. But for those who know – and I count myself among these fortunate – the space will be dearly missed.

I know many, many other people will so, as well. How many ideas have been hatched? How many intuitions and impulses and creative sparks realized, both in solitude looking east to “the village green” of “the Hill”, or catalyzed, actively in joyful, engaged discussions with friend or colleagues?

And so this space is special, has touched many. Obviously. But this is no rueful lament!

Una bella tazza di caffe

As successful as you’ve become, with Mr. Schomer and many others’ guidance, you surely have more future than past: folks will go on with the same routine, in the same neighborhood – quaffing the same café lattes, macchiatos, nicos, mochas; espresso dolce and vita (and Beautiful Stephanies here and there). But this is the passing of an era; it is a milestone.

Yet, as we’ve only a couple days left and I reflect on just how valuable a physical space can be in life. Here indeed, it is a loss.
You will be much missed, Roasteria! Thanks for the memories, and best wishes for the future,

David. G. Wilhelm

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